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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50143
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My 18 year-old daughter works 2-3 shifts a week as a waitress

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My 18 year-old daughter works 2-3 shifts a week as a waitress at a restaurant, a fairly large chain. She has not been given a contract of any sort but I suppose it is a 'zero hours' type contract. She is a student. The restaurant seem to abuse her goodwill because:
- they send her home early from a shift (or ask her to come in a bit later) if business is slack, only paying her for the hours worked.
- they frequently cancel a shift for her at very short notice, eg 1 hour before due to start, again no earnings that day, messing up her social plans.
- they often ask her to come in at very short notice, eg 2 hour notice, and she feels pressured if she can't make it.

Can they get away with this?? Seems a blatant abuse of an employee to me.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long has she worked there for?

I am going offline, if you happen to see this, so will respond in the morning, thanks


About 3 months, I can find out exactly if the number of months is critical. Thanks.

Ben Jones : Hi, thanks for your patience. The months at this stage are not critical because her rights do not really kick in until she has at least 2 years of service with the company. Only then can she go as far as considering resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal, which is the usual route in these situations. In the circumstances, with her length of service, her rights will be somewhat limited. She does have the right to request a written statement of employment particulars, which would summarise her hours, pay, holidays, etc but if she is on a zero hours contract as may be the case, then she will not be guaranteed any hours and if she is called in the shift may still subsequently be cancelled. The short notice issue could be something she can complain about but then there is no law that specifies a minimum notice period to cancel a shift and this is something that could be dealt with by a contract or a workplace policy. If the notice appears unreasonable, then whilst a grievance is an option, her only rights after that are the constructive dismissal route, which she cannot pursue yet due to her length of service. So at this stage, it is unfortunately the case that they can get away with it because she cannot really challenge them in any formal way apart from raising an internal complaint


Ben Jones :

You are welcome. Here is some more information on the particular she is entitled to:

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